The story is as old as time – humans have been searching for the anti-aging solution for centuries. It is a neverending quest for the perfect complexion. Ancient Greeks would spread olive oil over their skin to try to prevent dry skin. Ancient Egyptians were one of the first to invent what we call cosmetology today. They used products found in their natural environments such as aloe, myrrh, and frankincense.
What will be the antiaging product of the 21st century?
What is NAC?
NAC, n-acetylcysteine, is an antioxidant that is being studied for skin benefits. More so, it is a building block or precursor to glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidant in your body that can neutralize free radicals and decrease damage. We know that oxidative stress on skin cells can be a result of free radicals. Free radicals can come from the environment such as UV rays.
In some mice studies, NAC has been shown to improve the skin barrier by strengthening adhesion bonds.
In a study done in Japan, nine out of ten healthy volunteers had improvement in their skin hydration after applying a NAC cream twice a day for four weeks.
NAC can potentially reduce oxidative stress thus strengthening adhesion bonds in skin. NAC seems to be promising in improving the skin. However, it is a limited study. Ten participants are not enough to draw a general conclusion.
Benefits of NAC
They also studied patients with atopic dermatitis aka eczema. Those with eczema typically have lower skin hydration (although some have normal hydration). This means that less water is retained in the skin due to a dysfunction in the skin barrier. When applying the NAC cream, NAC improved skin hydration in those with eczema. However, the results were inconsistent. NAC is definitely an interesting and a promising antiaging supplement. More studies will need to be done to further evaluate NAC for skin benefits.
NAC Vitamin Skin Benefits
Here are the top sources for NAC skin benefits:
- ZetPil NAC Ultra Absorbable cream
- 111SKIN NAC Y2 Aqua Physics UV Blocking Sun Defence Cream
- 111SKIN NAC Y2 Daily Orbit Energizing Essence
Nakai K, Yoneda K, Murakami Y, et al. Effects of Topical N-Acetylcysteine on Skin Hydration/Transepidermal Water Loss in Healthy Volunteers and Atopic Dermatitis Patients. Ann Dermatol. 2015;27(4):450-1.